A Day in the Streets

A Day in the Streets

I want to be more intentional when it comes to composing photographs. 

Many of my favorite images have less to do with the subject of the photograph and more to do with the light and composition (arrangement of shapes) in the frame. I think this is where photography can become more artistic, beyond simply recording a moment experienced or a scene seen.

Recently, I can't get enough of Sean Tucker's street photography. The way he makes geometry and tonal contrasts the main subject of an image regularly astounds me—it's so different from how I typically approach photography. I often find myself looking at his images with a bit of jealousy, wishing I had the creative "eye" to see how he sees. Perhaps a little bit of it can be learned though?

A Comprehensive Beginner Landscape Photography Kit for $909: My Specific Gear Recommendations

A Comprehensive Beginner Landscape Photography Kit for $909: My Specific Gear Recommendations

Last week I dropped and broke my full-frame Sony a7rii camera. Ouch...

In the meantime, while it's in the shop being (hopefully) fixed, I've had to go back to using my older, more basic camera setup. And you know? It does a pretty damn good job. Now, that's not to say that I'll be selling all of my prized full-frame gear, but I do think the Sony a6000 is possibly the best value for your money when starting out in landscape and travel photography. 

With that in mind, I decided it might be helpful to put together my specific recommendations for a complete gear list for getting started with landscape and travel photography that won't totally break the bank, but can still result in really high-quality images. If you buy some of this used, you can get it all for about the price of a new smartphone. I buy used equipment all the time and have never had any issues. At the end, I'll make some recommendations for upgrades and optional accessories to consider as well if you have room in the budget, but they're definitely not necessary.

Top 30 Images of 2017

Top 30 Images of 2017

I dove deep into landscape photography in 2017, ending the year with almost 20,000 images. Narrowing it down is always difficult, but here are my favorite 30 from the year. Of course there are more on Instagram (@brianwlackey) too if you're interested and lots more coming in 2018. 

2°F Sunrise and Time Lapse at Lake Dillon

2°F Sunrise and Time Lapse at Lake Dillon

My car's thermometer read 2°F when I got to Lake Dillon just before sunrise. 

Brrrr.

Over my thermal top, I put on a thin fleece, a fleece vest, the warmest down jacket I own, a neck gaiter, a ski mask, a beanie, snow boots, microspikes for traction, and drained the last of my hot coffee. It'd be overkill for skiing or snowshoeing, but hopefully warm enough for some landscape photography. 

Driving in from Denver, I'd seen glimpses of fog over the lake, but in the dark it was hard to get a good feel for what the conditions might really be like. A few yards from the car, however, I saw the fog swirling above the lake below, just thick enough to be interesting without obscuring my view of the peaks in the distance.

Perfect! These are the conditions I always hope for on a shoot like this.

Winter Pre-Sunrise Hike to Dream Lake

Winter Pre-Sunrise Hike to Dream Lake

This past Saturday morning, I woke up around 2am with the intention of getting in some sunrise photography at Rocky Mountain National Park. I decided to shoot some video footage along the way with my new GoPro and had a lot of fun putting together my first ever YouTube video afterwards. Definitely a lot more work than I thought, but it's given me a whole new appreciation for the video editing process. Definitely something I'll continue to experiment with in the future.

The weather was a bit too cloudy for much color in the sunrise, but it was a gorgeous day nonetheless and I was able to get a few shots I was happy with.